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Theme Park News

Finnish theme park opens first Angry Birds Land

Särkänniemi theme park in Tampere, Finland has opened the world’s first Angry Birds-themed visitor attraction. Te Angry Birds Land is based on the popular mobile game which was developed by Finnish gam- ing company Rovio Entertainment. Miikka Seppälä, chief executive of

Särkänniemi said: “We wanted to create a unique themed area and associate it with a strong and well-known brand. Te Angry Birds characters were born in Finland but known worldwide by people of all ages. Tis is a perfect fit for our Adventure Park.”

Parques Reunidos acquires Slagharen

Spain-based visitor attractions operator Parques Reunidos has acquired the Slagharen family theme park in Slagharen, Te Netherlands. Te 80-hectare (198-acre)

Slagharen park, which receives more than one million visits a year, is themed according to American history – with a heavy emphasis on the 1850s – and includes four zones: Wild West, Mexico, New Orleans and Yellowstone. The theme park includes

Slagharen and its accommodation is themed with American history

more than 40 attractions and rides - including two roller coasters – and a holiday park with 800 beds, as well as a large retail and food and beverage offering. Richard Golding, executive chair of Parques Reunidos, said: “Te acquisition of Slagharen signifies the extension of our family leisure facilities in a new market, the Netherlands, increasing our presence in Europe.

Te UK’s first KidZania is set to open by 2014

KidZania signs deal for first UK location

KidZania, the Mexico-based educational theme park concept, has signed a license agreement with Longshot Kids to open its first location in the UK within the next two years. Longshot Kids is an affiliate of Longshot, a company led by entrepreneurs Ollie Vigors and Joel Cadbury and former owner of private members establishment, Te Groucho Club. London’s KidZania joins a development

plan of sites in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia (see p56); Santiago, Chile; and Sao Paulo, Brazil – all of which open this year.

Spring launch for new PortAventura coaster

PortAventura, the theme park located in Salou, Spain, has revealed that Europe’s tallest rollercoaster is to open this spring, although it will not be ready for the start of the season on 30 March. Te park has invested more than E25m

(£21m, US33m) in developing Shambhala, which features more than 1,650m (5,413ſt) of track and comprises more than 1,600 tonnes of steel. According to PortAventura, the ride will be a “hypercoaster” and will be 76m (249ſt) at the highest point, while its drop of 78m (256ſt) will also be a new European record.

16 Disney shuts exhibit over ‘bullying’ claims

Walt Disney Parks and Resorts has decided to close its Healthy Habits exhibit and gaming zone that promoted healthy lifestyles at it’s Epcot resort in Orlando, Florida, following accusations that it was ‘offensive to overweight children’. A lobby group called the National Association to Advance Fat Acceptance (NAAFA) claimed that Disney had “taken the side of the bul- lies” with the portrayal of its characters in its Habit Heroes zone. The characters included “Snacker”, por-

“Slagharen is a wonderful park and has a long

tradition which is very well recognized.” When completed, the deal will increase the

number of attractions in Parques Reunidos’ portfolio to 72. The company recently acquired Noah’s Ark waterpark in Wisconsin Dells, US, through its US subsidiary Palace Entertainment.

Te Healthy Habit exhibit included the Habit Heroes attraction In a statement, a NAAFA spokesperson said:

trayed as eating too much fatty foods; “Lead Bottom”, who doesn’t get enough exercise; and “Te Glutton”, a character who eats too much. NAAFA launched a campaign against the exhibit, encouraging “everyone to call and write to Disney and to express their outrage”.

“We are appalled to learn that Disney, a tra- ditional hallmark of childhood happiness and joy, has fallen under the shadow of negativity and discrimination. “It appears that Disney now believes that

using the tool of shame, favored so much by today’s health care corporations, is the best way to communicate with children.”

New CEO outlines Cedar Fair growth strategy

Matt Ouimet, the new chief executive officer of Cedar Fair Entertainment Company, has set out a new long-term growth strategy for the Ohio, US-based visitor attractions operator. Ouimet was named president of the group last summer and has now succeeded former

Read Attractions Management online

chief executive officer Dick Kinzel. Te new growth strategy has been called FUNforward. Adding new rides and attractions to enhance

guest experience is one of the strategy’s com- ponents, as is improving consumer messaging and relationship management.

AM 2 2012 ©cybertrek 2012



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